My short answer is ABSOLUTELY YES! I am going to give you some reasons why liability insurance is so important for wedding photographers in particular, and other measures you can take to avoid any wedding day disasters.
There are no DO OVERS!
Wouldn’t it be fun if you could just redo your wedding whenever you want?! I think so! But, that is not reality. So as wedding photographer, we absolutely have to get it right the first time. Sometimes life events come up, death of loved ones, extreme illness, and other unpredictable emergencies, and we can’t make it to the wedding at all. Other times, we go to the wedding, shoot the entire wedding and lose the pictures because of technology malfunctions. Or, we work hard to get the married couple everything they wanted from their photographer, but they are disappointed when they get their pictures back. All of these things can happen. I’m not saying any of these issues are commonplace, but they could happen, and their effects could be disastrous.
Liability insurance protects you from lawsuits.
Liability insurance for wedding photographers aims to remedy any of the aforementioned situations, for both the client and the photographer. If any of these situations occurred, we all known there would be lots of hard feelings, which can lead to clients filing suit against your business. Yikes! Liability insurance protects you and your business once a suit has been filed. Basically, when a client sues you, your insurance coverage will try and negotiate a settlement with your client to compensate them for the situation, while protecting your businesses finances.
At minimum, you should purchase equipment insurance.
Cameras are expensive, tri-pods are expensive, extra batteries are expensive, new lenses are expensive. Can we all agree that your photography equipment is expensive?! Breaking or losing any of this equipment is devastating. But with liability insurance comes the option of adding in equipment insurance! With this additional coverage, you can rest easy that your beloved items will be repaired or replaced. Without it, you might have to cancel photo sessions if you don’t have any backup equipment. Even if you do have backup equipment, there was a reason why your first choice equipment is your first choice. You don’t want to have to pull money out of your own pocket to replace these expensive items. Even if you don’t buy insurance that provides liability from suit brought by a client, you should at least have equipment insurance to save you the headache and heartbreak!
At the very least, try to self insure. This means that you always keep about $5k-$10 in a savings account that you don’t touch in case a client is unhappy with something wedding photography related or you mess up. Being able to readily reimburse the client for any mistake caused will help ease a potential legal suit.
Have multiple backup measures in place!
This point isn’t about liability insurance, but it is directly related. Make sure you have backup measures in place in case anything goes horribly wrong. Examples include: bringing multiple cameras, memory cards, batteries, and other backup equipment to the wedding, having a backup photographer in case of emergencies. I have at least 5-10 photographers that I could call if I had an emergency that would take over a wedding event with the consent of the clients.
My Takeaway: Liability Insurance for wedding photographers is absolutely worth it! Liability insurance is generally annual coverage, but it is possible to get a one-day policy Special Event Insurance through certain insurance providers. However, one-day policies are much more expensive. Thus, I would encourage any wedding photographer to have liability coverage at all times!